Next on the agenda for Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea is a trip to Liverpool. The Blues are coming off a rather dull encounter with Manchester United, with the tie ending in a 0-0 draw. This time around they will be hoping that the uncertainty surrounding Liverpool’s defence and midfield will do them well.
Thiago Silva will again be absent from the matchday squad. Tuchel confirmed in his press conference that the defender completed his first training session with the team, cutting his involvement short for precautionary reasons. Tammy Abraham is also a doubt due to an ankle problem. The rest of the squad is in good health. Callum Hudson-Odoi was seen with an ice pack around his left knee after coming off against Manchester United during halftime in our last match. However, the winger has since participated in training and appears to be fine.
Edouard Mendy is a mainstay in this Chelsea team. After putting in another solid performance at the weekend – he is sure to stay in the net against Liverpool.
In defence, it is the continuation of Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger, and Cesar Azpilicueta. The trio was watertight against United and I cannot see much rotation there.
Ben Chilwell and Callum Hudson-Odoi will occupy the left and right wing-back positions. Hudson-Odoi will continue to be one of the first names on the team sheet, while Ben Chilwell is likely to be the preferred option at left wing-back in the tougher matches.
N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic will be the two holding midfielders. The pair looked very solid against United. Kovacic lacked a bit of cutting edge and decisiveness in the final third, but he was still a prominent figure in midfield. N’Golo Kante was…well N’Golo Kante. The Frenchman has well and truly returned to his world-class best. He was hands down our best player on Sunday. He was a machine in midfield and he is currently undroppable.
In attack, Mason Mount and Christian Pulisic will play behind the striker. Mount has proven that he is more than just your traditional number eight. The English midfielder seems to have added a new dimension to his game, more noticeably since the arrival of Tuchel. The current role that he is occupying suits him well, and I hope to see him playing there this Thursday. Pulisic has not had the chance to impress yet under Tuchel. Werner and Ziyech have had opportunities, but they have failed to fully take advantage of them. The last match was Ziyech’s opportunity, perhaps in this match, Pulisic will be given an opportunity.
Up top, Olivier Giroud will retain his place in the side. The potential absence of Tammy Abraham makes things a little clearer. Giroud has had a good run in the side and perhaps the consistency will do him well. Another bicycle kick this Thursday please, thanks Giroud! Nonetheless, a big tie beckons, and a win against Liverpool is a real possibility. COYB!
Full Predicted XI
Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger
Hudson-Odoi, Kante, Kovacic, Chilwell